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If you have reached the point in your career that it is time for you to move on and go to another job or office, you’ll want to formalize your goodbyes.  Doing so lets you get in touch with those you work with all at once.  You can say goodbye provide contact information to encourage maintaining a connection outside of workplace. The manner of how, when, and why you send out a farewell letter is important.  Timing is of equal importance.

A farewell email to colleagues requires a certain format.  Using the format ensures the likelihood the email is received well and read by all of those you want to reach with the letter.  A farewell email sample is something you can use to make sure your letter is well written, easy to read, and well-received. It will also make it easier for you to write if you don’t feel you have quite the right words to say farewell to colleagues and coworkers or which you are fond.

When is the time to Send a Farewell Email?

A farewell email is something you should send out at a time that falls close to your official final day at work.  An ideal time is about two to three days before your final day at the office or on the job.  On that day, finish up work, and send out the email. It will give you time for people to come up to you and to say their final goodbyes.

Who Should Get the Farewell Email from You?

The answer to this question is that it depends. If you work in a huge building or corporation, you don’t want to send out a mass email about you leaving. You don’t want people who haven’t interacted or worked with you to get an email telling them you are leaving.  Likewise, you might want to consider a separate, more professional and formal farewell letter for any of your supervisors or bosses. Those who should get a farewell email from you include:

  • Close colleagues
  • Coworkers who are your friends
  • Anyone in a small office
  • People you have worked with in the past who may not be in the same office but still work for the company.
  • People you have worked projects with or who have participated with you in collaborative efforts.
  • Those individuals who have been a mentor to you.
  • Your trainers and those who have helped you shape your career thus far.

Farewell Email Writing Considerations

A farewell email is broken down into parts for ease of completion. As you look at some of the farewell email samples available, you must remember it is only a sample. In other words, your farewell message is far more meaningful if you use your own words to say your goodbyes.  A farewell email to coworkers should not be too heavy or overly dramatic. You want to keep things simple. It is your means of conveying a simple goodbye and a request to keep in touch.  It’s not about airing grudges or getting even with coworkers now that you are ready to leave the workplace.  You want to maintain a level of professionalism always.

Downloadable Templates:

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Parts of a Farewell Email

Sender Announcement

Even though you are likely to fill out the subject line and everyone will recognize your email. The farewell email is written in a semi-formal way.  At the upper portion of the sample, you’ll see the word “From,” where you can enter your name.  You have the option of including just your first name or your first name followed by your surname.

Farewell Email Subject Lines

Just like you are sending a formal letter, the subject line will appear just below your name.  If your subject title of the email didn’t catch their attention, this well. The area is marked with a “Re:” meaning “regarding.” You can enter something catchy into the area. The tone of the email is defined here. If you are serious, then the tone of the farewell email is also serious. If you choose a humorous light tone, the rest of the email should follow that tone as well.  You might choose something like, “A fond farewell to all…,” or something a bit more original like, “I’m off to follow the yellow brick road….”

The Addressees

The next line points out who you are connecting with, and again, your tone is important. If you are trying to be semi-formal, you might say something like “To all my wonderful colleagues,” or “To my coworkers and friends.” If you are trying to be funny and light, you might say something like “To those who’ve had the pleasure or working with me,” or “To those who recognize who this is ….”

The Body of the Farewell Email to Colleagues

As you write your letter, make sure you keep in mind that you are trying to maintain a level of professionalism, even if you joke a bit and take a light tone. The letter is meant to tell others you are leaving in a tactful and timely manner.  Since you are writing a letter, it saves you the trouble of having to talk to each person on an individual basis.  Keep in mind that those employees you are close too might be deserving of face to face notification of your decision to leave.  If that is the case, make sure you notify your coworkers face-to-face before you send out a mass email to all the other colleagues you work with: This will ensure no one’s feelings get hurt.

The body of the email needs to be through and should include:

  • A bit about the position you held
  • Your time on the job
  • A brief reason as to why you are leaving (For example, you’ve found another job, you are retiring, or you are advancing to another position at another location).
  • Fond memories you have of the workplace, if applicable.
  • When you plan on leaving and your official last day on the job.
  • A light joke or two that remains cordial and friendly. Be careful not to hurt anyone’s feelings.

Breakdown of the Farewell Email to Coworkers

The body of the letter is the most important part as it contains your farewell message. To make the fact that you are leaving clear, it is important for you to use concise writing. The letter should be about a page in length. You don’t want to bore the readers, and you don’t want to sound like you are rambling.

  • First paragraph: Here you can say you are leaving the job. You might want to mention where you are headed and your decision to leave. Never say anything negative or derogatory about the employer or any of your colleagues. Give specifics about your final day so they know how to plan for a time to give you a personal farewell if they desire.
  • Second paragraph: Here’s where you get a chance to express a bit of personal gratitude. Thank anyone who has helped you along the way, and makes sure you name your mentors specifically when you thank them. Let your colleagues know they will be missed as you move on in your career. If you have a select few colleagues who are influential in your life, name them here directly and thank them with personalized thanks.
  • Third paragraph: This is the wrap up really. You need to let everyone know where you are going and for those who choose to stay in touch, they’ll need contact information. Here is where you share your email address (personal), your phone number, and if you have one, a LinkedIn URL. Encourage others to keep in touch.
  • The final paragraph: This is short but sweet. You are once again thanking everyone, not just for reading your email, but for being such awesome coworkers. Feel free to flatter them a little.

Differences between a Farewell Email to Coworkers and Bosses

When saying farewell to colleagues it is one thing. You can joke around, be lighthearted, and you can make it a fun experience. When saying farewell to bosses, CEOs, or those in authority at the workplace, it is another thing.  You will want to make sure you consider who you are addressing before writing a farewell to anyone.  The farewell to those in authority differs from one to coworkers in the following ways:

  • When writing to your bosses the tone is professional only. Joking around may or may not be appropriate in this type of farewell communication. You’ll need to consider how you interacted
  • You want to be cordial and thank your bosses for their leadership and assistance.
  • You should keep the writing concise, brief, and short.
  • Only write to those in authority you interact with on a regular basis.

Farewell Email to Colleagues Writing Tips

Don’t say too little:  A scant farewell email will look as if you didn’t put your whole heart into the letter or you didn’t give it much forethought. If your letter comes across as wishy washy or filled with uncertainties, these energies will remain with you.  You want to keep free from negativity. Coworkers will think much of the colleague who thought to take the time to say goodbye before moving onto better things in the career world. The way to do this is by writing a well-written, planned, and thoughtful letter or farewell email.

Don’t say too much: It bears repeating here. The farewell email is not a please to air dirty laundry. It’s not a forum to degrade others. It is not permission to lose your professionalism. Rather,

Be kind: Consider the lightheartedness of the farewell. Just because you are leaving the office it doesn’t give you permission to write jokes that might be hurtful.  Make sure what you think is funny will be humorous to all that read it.

Let bygones be bygones: There is no airing of grudges here.  If you are leaving on bad terms, this is not something to share in a farewell email.

Remember the impression you are making: You want to leave a lasting impression on your colleagues. You might encounter them again in the workforce so that impression needs to be a positive one.  Consider your printed words as lasting and with a powerful effect.

Timeliness is everything: The farewell email to coworkers is an important document. The timing you send the document out to your colleagues is of major import.  You don’t want the entire office to fuss over your last day a week or two in advance. In fact, your colleagues may forget about the farewell email letter you send out if you send it too far in advance from your final day on the job.

If you get a chance, share some wise advice: If you’ve learned a few things over the years that have made your job easier, share the information with others.  If someone took the time to teach you something profound, share it with your coworkers as a means of paying it forward.

As you enter the new stage in your career path, it’s important to let others know you are leaving you current job. There is a right way and a wrong way of sharing a farewell letter with your colleagues. Considering the factors of letter writing and what should be included will shape the success of your interoffice or inter-business communications. You want to maintain some professionalism when communicating with colleagues, but an email letter to authorities in the workplace needs to come from a more professional angle.

Remember, you are not only saying farewell to everyone, but you are presenting a letter people will remember you by.  Later, you may encounter these same people in other areas of the workforce. Maintaining professionalism and being kind with your word choices goes a long way in creating lasting networks.  Finally, the email farewell is a form of communication in which you can ensure those individuals you have developed a good relationship know exactly how to stay in touch with you in the future.


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